• Thu
  • Oct 23, 2014
  • Updated: 5:01pm
NewsHong Kong

Maid, 28, falls to her death from 27th floor flat while cleaning windows

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 January, 2014, 4:39pm
UPDATED : Friday, 24 January, 2014, 9:42am

An Indonesian domestic helper fell to her death yesterday while cleaning the windows of a public housing flat on the 27th floor of a building in Wong Tai Sin.

The woman, 28, fell out of a kitchen window at Cheung Yuen House in the Chuk Yuen North estate at about 9.30am.

She landed on the first-floor podium of the building, police said.

"As the 87-year-old female employer went to the toilet, she saw the maid cleaning windows in the kitchen," a police officer said.

"When she came out, she realised the helper had disappeared and a window was wide open. She looked down and saw the maid lying on the podium."

The employer then called the police.

The maid was declared dead by paramedics at the scene, a police spokeswoman said.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances.

It is believed the domestic helper arrived in Hong Kong earlier this month.

The city has seen similar accidents involving foreign domestic helpers.

In August last year, an Indonesian maid, 32, and an 18-month-old boy fell to their deaths from a 19th-floor flat in Yau Tong.

Police believed the maid had been carrying the toddler as she collected laundry from a clothes-drying rack attached outside the window, but lost her balance and fell with the boy.

In August 2012, another Indonesian helper, 27, fell while cleaning windows in a flat at Bayview Terrace, Tuen Mun.

In February 2011, an Indonesian helper, 35, fell out of a 22nd-floor flat while cleaning a window in a Sha Tin flat.

She landed on a podium and was declared dead at Prince of Wales Hospital.

The city is home to 300,000 migrant domestic helpers, most of them women from Indonesia and the Philippines.



For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

A young woman falls from out of a window- a trivial matter! No way. How many Hong Kong people have fallen out of windows while cleaning them- none I guess. So how come helpers are falling from windows? Something is not right. But in Hong Kong this is just swept under the carpet because she is a maid- I would say second class citizen but maids can't even become that no matter how many years they work here- they are not white professionals!
This has happened so many times that it is clearly an occupational hazard and employers should not be allowed to insist that their maids clean the windows in high-rises.
I think most people keep a maid because the government does not provide appropriate after school child care. Countries like UK, Canada and US have afterschool programs for Children and parents pick them up from there.
Schools end at 3 PM and it is illegal to leave a Child at home alone or on the street (yes the law is vague). No parent can get home by 3 PM thus there needs to be infrastructure for 3 PM to 6 PM for Child care.
I don't think people actually want a stranger living in their place and I think most people would be quite willing to clean their own place. Most will have domestic helpers do it as they feel that they already pay for the service.
OldPeak Toad
I though there are laws regulating save working practices - oh wrong twice - this is Hong Kong - and for domestic helpers laws only apply if they are for the benefit of the employers!
Two helpers have fallen to their deaths cleaning windows in Hong Kong in the last 3 weeks.
When will the Labour Department be holding an inquiry into this- if this happened on a building site the site would be shut down immediately.
When will the media seriously investigate these incidents- after all, how many Hong Kong people have fallen to their deaths cleaning window?
JPINST makes a valid point, most new builds, and I think all housing estates, do not have separate maid quarters; any apartment under 1,000 sq ft should be banned from hiring domestic help on a live in basis - it is repugnant that anyone is forced to sleep on the kitchen floor or toilet or cupboard. Maids need their own space, they need to breath and be away from the family; they need their own quarters. It is time for the government to tell most of HK - CLEAN YOUR OWN TOILET!
JC...WTF is going on with the maids.....? I understand a maid at an elderly persons house, but why does one need a maid in a 700sq ft flat? It's not that big, do your own cleaning like people in the rest of the world do.....
I can't wait to hear everybody chime in and declare how absolutely necessary it is to have a maid. Yeah, i would have one too, if I lived in a 5000 sq ft 6 bedroom house too.
I agree legislation for hiring maids must change, but all this news about maids has gone a little over board. Occupational hazards just requires a bit of common sense to manage, not more bickering. Next on the head lines would be "maid dies whilst walking to wet market", "maid burns arms from wok oil"...but it's part of the job. Let's separate criminal acts from trivial complaints and focus on the first not the latter.
Wait, aren't they expressly prohibited by law from cleaning windows outside?
i hope not another "Madam Law" is behind this tragedy.


SCMP.com Account